According to the Telstra Cyber Security Report 2014, Australian servers are second in the world in terms of hosting malicious files. And if you run a business that relies on highly confidential customer data as the primary foundation of its IP, understanding the ins and outs of your cyber security is sound business practice.
Keeping IP out of harm’s way
Law firms, advertising agencies, accountants, medical centers, recruitment companies and all those participating in the knowledge economy need to understand that the loss or corruption of data can have serious implications for customers and for business owners.
And the number of potential threats can be many: Viruses, phishing, malware attacks, Denial of Service, identity theft, key logging, app attacks, point-of-sale intrusions, cyber-espionage and malware are just some of the online threats that business owners need to keep an eye on.
DIY cybersecurity vs. outsourcing
There are a number of ways businesses can manage these threats, either by hiring dedicated IT staff or by outsourcing this to dedicated vendors that can deliver enterprise level systems that can be scaled up or down to meet their needs.
Kaspersky Lab research in the UK has shown that 36 per cent of small business owners manage security themselves, with 28 per cent using external IT professionals. And while solutions vary, knowing what you’re protecting can help inform the conversation you have.
For people in the services industry, there are three things to remember:
- It’s your data (IP) that is the target of hackers
- It’s the storage of this information that needs most of the protecting
- There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all online protection strategy
Clouds with digital linings
For those requiring a quick, easy and self-managed fix to a range of cyber threats, cloud storage satisfies many online security requirements because it’s both physically removed from your IT network, and already pre-configured with multiple and diverse levels of security.
It also gives less visibility to hackers on where critical applications are running and where the sensitive data is actually being stored, along with protecting your data should there be a flood or fire.
Cloud storage even protects your emails – shown by the popularity of collaboration suites like Office 365 that allow for the use of Microsoft Office applications like Outlook when you’re on the move.
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Cloud solutions made for business
Telstra’s Cloud is custom-designed for business, and uses encryption and security to help protect virtual servers from attacks.
Telstra also provides a remote backup server that gives your business some of the latest storage technology to help protect critical files and rapidly recover important data, allowing fast access 24x7.
While it’s smart to use a mixture of security strategies to help ensure your business has the ultimate level of protection, using cloud hosting services like Telstra’s Cloud can put you a few steps ahead of the hackers.
The right routine
To help business owners and their employees manage their online security, Kaspersky has partnered with UKs Barclay’s Bank to come up with a daily checklist of five must-do items:
- Use industrial-strength passwords – ensure and insist that all internet-enabled devices on your premises are protected by strong passwords
- Understanding attachments –use software to help filter out or contain suspicious-looking items in emails, web-links USB sticks, CDs and any other storage devices
- Employee education– teach your staff how to stay safe online, to spot any suspect emails or sites, and to protect company information
- Daily back-ups – ensure back-up of your servers - use automatic back-ups to negate human errors
- Use the latest security software – Cloud or otherwise, never skimp on this – the small savings you make could cost your business dearly